Johnson Controls Supports HVAC Education and Scholarships for University of Hawaii Students

Johnson-ControlsMore students at the University of Hawaii may pursue HVAC careers thanks to funding from Johnson Controls. The company’s recent $58,000 gift will fund scholarships and provide equipment for Honolulu Community College’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology (RAC) program.

The vice president for community colleges, Dr. John Morton said, “Sustainability is an important goal but also an important value for the UH Community Colleges. We thank Johnson Controls for its continued support and partnership, and for this generous gift in support of training the future workers in Hawaii’s green industries.”

Dr. Erika Lacro, chancellor of Honolulu Community College, added, “This generous gift will help Honolulu CC keep important programs such as Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology current with industry standards. Students will train on innovative equipment to help move the future of Hawaii’s workforce to be more responsive with its energy needs. The Johnson Controls’ Fellows Program is offered across the UH System to engage students in all types of sustainable practices. These scholarships will aid students throughout their educational journey through to graduation.”

In 2011, UH and Johnson Controls launched the Fellows Program to prepare students for jobs in the growing green sector while identifying and cultivating students to lead sustainability efforts on their respective campuses. To date there have been more than 47 fellows educated by Johnson Controls employees who have coordinated activities such as renewable energy training summits, Earth Day celebrations, and peer-to-peer sustainability education.

“We’re training students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers, making them career- ready for jobs in sustainability and energy-efficiency industries,” said Judith Mouton, program director, Higher Education, Johnson Controls. “While learning about sustainability, they’re gaining valuable business leadership skills.”

View recent media coverage of the program. Posted on August 8, 2014

Contemporary Controls’ Versatile BASremote BACnet/IP Controller/Gateway is Even More Flexible!

Contemporary ControlsBASremoteAugust 2014 — The BASremote has evolved over the years from its original intent as a BACnet/IP remote I/O device. We were one of the first to add a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) option ― allowing the device to operate without the need for control panel power. Next, we added Modbus RTU to BACnet/IP gateway functionality which greatly expanded the point handling capability of the unit. Then we added Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU routing ― providing the BASremote with Modbus TCP client capability. Next, we added a Sedona Framework virtual machine (SVM) eventually obtaining Sedona 1.2 certification ― making the BASremote a freely-programmable B-ASC controller. The Linux-based BASremote is appropriately identified as a versatile BACnet/IP controller/gateway, but we did not stop there. By listening to our customers we are releasing several new features. Visit Contemporary Controls for more solutions!

BASremotes with firmware release 3.7.7 have these added features:
Simplified trending
Authentication
Secure email notifications
Convenient firmware upgrades
Simplified Trending

Equipped with expansion modules, the BASremote can have up to 32 I/O points. With an installed Modbus device profile and attached Modbus devices, the number of points can increase dramatically. Each of these points can be trended using a simple “check-the-box” web page. Up to 150,000 data points can be saved before rollover of data. The output is a CSV-compliant file that can be manipulated using a standard spreadsheet program.

Authentication: Unauthorized access can now be prevented with password protection. This includes web page access, Java use, Sedona program protection and access to trend data.

Secure Email Notifications: Events captured in a Sedona program can trigger an email alert. Encrypted email services used by both Google and Yahoo can be used to carry these messages. The BASremote now supports SSL/TLS over port 465 and STARTTLS over port 587. It will continue to support traditional port 25 email services.

Convenient firmware upgrades: The BASremote is built upon a Linux platform and therefore supports the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for making firmware revisions. With version 3.7.7 we have introduced a firmware update process based upon a simple web page action that removes the FTP complexity.

Any BASremote with version 3.1.2 or higher can be upgraded to version 3.7.7 using the traditional FTP process that can be found on the BASremote support page. There is no charge for the upgrade version. Also on the same support page is a new application note explaining how Modbus to BACnet mapping is accomplished in the BASremote.

Visit Contemporary Controls for more solutions!

Sensors, Sensors Everywhere: In the Near Future, Structures and Systems Will Look After Themselves

SHM (Photo: 1663 Los Alamos Science and Technology Magazine. Schematic Source: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT)

Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) began in the early 1800′s with railroad wheel-tappers, which used the sound of a hammer striking the train wheel to evaluate if damage was present. The IoT sensor proliferation that continues to increase the number of application instances will soon deliver this significant SHM concept, which is similar, yet different, than our Fault Detection and Diagnostics — nearer and nearer to our workstations (cautious optimism), because SHM will be incorporated into everything: buildings, bridges, every mode of transportation, as well as every large piece of HVAC equipment around us — that we will hopefully continue to integrate with in some manner. FAST COMPANY has the Connected Home Sweet Home covered, but it was this article by Craig Tyler, published in July 2013, in The Los Alamos Science and Technology Magazine, that really spells out the pervasiveness of this technology. Chuck Farrar and David Mascarenas, among other luminaries at the Engineering Institute at Los Alamos, a research and education collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California, San Diego, are all about solving really sophisticated data-to-decision problems.

Fundamental Axioms of SHM IVa: Sensors cannot measure damage. Feature extraction through signal processing and statistical classification is necessary to convert sensor data into damage information (http://en.wikipedia.org/).

Did you know that sensors evolve? According to Eric Flynn, a colleague of David Mascarenas, and postdoctoral researcher at the Engineering Institute researcher at the Los Alamos Engineering Institute: “Over many different trials, the sensor network develops a lifetime of experience. Detector locations, or sets of locations, that do not help enough are like animals that are unfit for survival or reproduction; they are deleted from the “gene pool.” New sensor locations are introduced to replace the ones that are deleted, based on “mutation” and “breeding” among the remaining sensor “population,” in a process that repeats for each new “generation.” In this way, the 3D sensor locations “evolve” to their optimal configuration. Los Alamos Engineering Institute researchers working in the field of structural health monitoring (SHM) are developing sensor systems to track health and damage information for the nation’s major infrastructure objects—including buildings and bridges, power plants and industrial plants, ships and aircraft, and other large-investment equipment for transportation, entertainment, and scientific research. They are designing and building SHM hardware as well as developing algorithms to screen raw SHM sensor data reliably for evidence of structural degradation.”

More Background:

Los Alamos Engineering Institute researchers working in the field of structural health monitoring (SHM) are developing sensor systems to track health and damage information for the nation’s major infrastructure objects—including buildings and bridges, power plants and industrial plants, ships and aircraft, and other large-investment equipment for transportation, entertainment, and scientific research. They are designing and building SHM hardware as well as developing algorithms to screen raw SHM sensor data reliably for evidence of structural degradation.

Los Alamos Engineering Institute researchers working in the field of structural health monitoring (SHM) are developing sensor systems to track health and damage information for the nation’s major infrastructure objects—including buildings and bridges, power plants and industrial plants, ships and aircraft, and other large-investment equipment for transportation, entertainment, and scientific research. They are designing and building SHM hardware as well as developing algorithms to screen raw SHM sensor data reliably for evidence of structural degradation.

Click here for complete article.

Click here to get your science and technology fix from Los Alamos!

Chiller on the Fritz — Call the Champions of Chill — The Mobile Air Force

mobile air forceMarvel Comics has nothing on the marvelous folks at Mobile Air Force, the champions of chill, as they fight for truth, justice, and mobile air conditioning! There’s nothing like a little comic animation to convey a lot of information about superhero-like fast emergency service. Mobile Air, Inc. is a specialty HVAC company dealing exclusively in portable air conditioning, heating, filtration, and dehumidification systems, for both temporary and long term solutions.

Mobile Air has been providing portable rental air conditioning, heating, dehumidification and structural drying services to our customers for over 20 years. Since Mobile Air’s beginning back in 1989 we have been redefining the industry with products and innovative approaches for temporary indoor and outdoor heating, air conditioning, and dehumidification.

Mobile Air has the equipment, personnel, and know-how to solve your temporary air conditioning needs quickly from one of our fully-stocked warehouses. Mobile Air has the equipment you need, right where you need it.

Water Whistleblower APP — Meet EveryDrop – A Water Conservation Platform. Light Litter is Next!

We are still wondering how long it will take for Light Litter to become a serious matter of national importance, and by what means could we begin to remedy it — not only because it’s a terrible waste of energy and money (tax money, mostly), but also because it’s completely fixable. Public patience with wasting water, at least in LA, has expired and led to the first known APP to blow the whistle on water abusers. The negative idea of blowing the whistle on thy neighbor is another one of those duller-edge sides of the sword that results from trying to fix collective apathy. Hopefully, a similar APP will soon emerge for Light Litter that will lead to the reporting of public lights left on during daylight hours, particularly, airport and municipal parking area lights and the miles and miles of state highways and local roadways with lighting left on in bright and broad daylight because of a faulty time clock or defective sensor. Control over lighting is very doable. Back to the EveryDrop story from mother nature network and Matt Hickman, Design devotee that blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green buildings. Read more: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/responsible-living/blogs/app-turns-citizens-into-smartphone-wielding-wardens-of-water#ixzz3AYKB51Wc:

Meet EveryDrop – A Water Conservation Platform from CitySourced on Vimeo.

Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Being located in Southern California, however, has its challenges. By enabling the EveryDrop platform, cities and counties can put the power of the crowd to work for them. Water waste can be identified quickly, allowing conservation of every drop possible. By using our platform, in conjunction with Esri’s GIS technology, the power of big data comes alive. Water waste can now be isolated, quantified and studied. Education is tantamount in the effort to conserve water, and with the help of EveryDrop it’s easier than ever. We have an obligation to be good stewards of our planet’s resources, and EveryDrop helps in accomplishing that goal.

August DOE Release: A Framework for Characterizing Connected Equipment

eere_illust_bldg For those of the ControlTrends Community following the most recent DOE referee guidance concerning the direction and pace of technological innovation in the Smart Grid industry, which includes “the dynamic management of residential and commercial building end-use loads,” brought about by the increasing connectivity available within the residential and commercial space, and/or the ability to control the equipment externally/remotely, this August 2014, DOE, EERE, Building Technologies Program report, articulates and illustrates, very succinctly, the intelligent minutiae being used to unfold the inevitable universality and implementation of the Smart Grid.

We think it’s important: DOE Issues Notice of Availability and Request for Public Comment on the Framework Document for the Physical Characterization of Grid-Connected Commercial and Residential Buildings End-Use Equipment and Appliances.

Introduction: The Department of Energy (“DOE”) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (“EERE”) recognizes that the market is developing portfolios of clean energy technologies that may require new innovative solutions and implementation techniques to achieve large scale deployment. One set of solutions, given the direction and pace of technological innovation in industry, may include the dynamic management of residential and commercial building end-use loads brought about by the connectivity installed within, or externally controlling the equipment.

As demonstrated by some utilities using innovative technologies from industry, dynamically engaging building end-use loads can enable integration of intermittent renewable resources at scale and enhance grid reliability and resiliency, while unlocking potential new value streams for homeowners and building owners and operators. In support of EERE’s objectives to engage industry, the Building Technologies Office (“BTO”) is beginning to study how the use of grid-connected appliances and equipment (hereafter “connected equipment”) in residential, commercial, or industrial buildings (hereafter “buildings”) may provide multiple service benefits for building owners, including cost savings, while enabling the scale integration of variable renewable resources and other national-scale benefits. Therefore, connected equipment may directly benefit consumers as well as provide benefits to the grid.

Industry has traditionally supported these types of benefits made available through the management and control of equipment. Furthermore, many in industry envision a future where connected equipment may provide new value streams through delivery of recognizable services to consumers, building owners, third-party service providers, or electricity providers. To realize this future, characterization protocols and associated metrics may be needed to adequately describe the potential of connected equipment to deliver services that can scale and act as in a trustworthy manner. With respect to this framework, DOE is committed to the core principles of working with and convening industry, minimizing the burden of characterization on stakeholders, separating characterization of connected equipment responses from communications and interoperability, and driving characterization via use cases and known (or potential) services. The purpose of this characterization framework is to engage industry on a voluntary basis.

Read more.

September RACA Interview with Mike Marston, Co-Owner of EasyIO Holdings Pte Ltd.

MikeMarston What trends can be picked up on the global BMS market? What’s new?

IT is changing the BMS world, for the better. More and more IP based Controllers are now being connected to the IT Infrastructure in a Building, as the barrier of RS 485 twisted pair cable being cheaper, seems to be finally changing. IT professionals know that so much more can be achieved through Ethernet cable and IT infrastructure, such as, fast online programming, real time, and with the old ways of compile, download and ‘pray’!

Another change is the use of Embedded Linux Platforms in DDC Controllers, changing the rules and lowering costs. Even some companies and customers are deploying Raspberry PI’s to collect data, thereby, opening new access to enable low cost metering solutions, and eventually, we can get closer and closer to true Smart-grid control. This cannot happen without IT and IP based ‘Edge Devices’ (such as embedded Linux devices) and Power Companies with their huge databases (and maybe Google, IBM etc.) to simply and cheaply address the millions of consumers connected to any energy grid. There is a race on now, to the management smaller buildings, and this is where most energy is consumed. This could be a big growth area for BMS companies.

BACnet continues to take a strong foothold in most BMS systems, but care needs to be taken to avoid connected over the internet with security and BACnet authentication. BACnet is great but can be vulnerable if not protected in the IT infrastructure. BACnet, in our view, has won the race over Lon Works, to become the defacto open standard, in BMS.

However, one cannot forget Web Services, and other emerging open protocols, which are more secure and flexible and more understood by non BMS professionals, who need to deal with BMS integrations and our Energy data. Web services can be as simple as http requesting from a centralized database Server, to pinpoint and automatically retrieve exact data that is required for centralized cloud/enterprise Billing Systems.

What are the challenges impeding the growth of the BMS market?

BMS will continue to grow as the industry embraces IT, and as BMS adapts to IT requirements and the changing world pf how people get, use and deal with data, and this is not forgetting big data, which is another challenge.

Growth will only be impeded if the BMS industry changes, and forgets its obsession with solely just BACnet, as there are other important game changing trends that need to be embraced, and implemented. This is the M2M Energy Services and Data businesses, as many new service provide are springing up to manage big data from Billing systems, Meters, Building Performance data and so on. Also, analytics will be a key are of growth and implementation in the Building Management of Buildings. Analytics requires a different approach; it requires real time data, in a very open web services (XML, http, SOAP) type of data environment. BACnet is not the answer to this, although it does serve us well in the integration of DDC Controllers, some Meters, some VFD’s, Chillers etc.

Another consideration affecting growth is how to address the remote Buildings Fixed IP address issue. Is it really needed? – not if you consider ‘Push Data’, which allows a BMS to send its data to the Cloud of the Enterprise System using Web Services without the need for a fixed IP address at the remote site. Some BMS companies are already implementing this but others will need to follow.

What are common mistakes made when installing/maintaining a BMS?

When installing there needs to a be a mutual expectation of performance, after the systems is commissioned, witnessed and handed over. These can then be monitored, tested and analysed thereafter, just like we would do with any other valuable Building asset.

When designing and installing a BMS there needs to be a mutual expectation of performance, after the system is commissioned, witnessed and handed over. These can then be monitored, tested and analysed thereafter, just like we would do with any other valuable Building asset. There also needs to be a set operation budget for ongoing maintenance. BMS’s do need maintenance such as calibration, tuning and replacement of Sensors and Actuators. A good example is on/off valves often used in Hotel Room, yet we spend $30 on a cheap on/off Valve and it fails and is jammed in the 100% open position, for years to come. This is where maintenance and performance analytics should be budgeted in the operational plan for a building. Unfortunately, not all customers in Hotel, or office Tenants complain or give feedback, they simply just take their business elsewhere.

When choosing a BMS for your building, what process should you go through to pick a brand?

Consider brands that have good local support in all major cities throughout the country. Look on the internet, look at industry awards, talk with friends, peers, competitors, end users, and in fact talk with everyone. Don’t always just pick the biggest name; look at the companies that are making positives changes, offering excellent value, and with a proven track record in achieving what they say that they will.

Have an open mind, and test the brand’s knowledge and reputation. The internet can be a good tool for this, but word of mouth and past experience would be a good parallel approach.

BAS vs BMS vs M2M – does industry fully understand the difference and what are the implications of this?

I think that they are all the same thing now, and more so, as we move forward into the future. I don’t feel that BAS cannot survive or grow in isolation of M2M. It is now a fully integrated solution that requires a multitude of features, skills and capabilities. BMS is the same as BMS with more emphasis on the Management of Facilities.

BMS and BAS are about buildings while M2M (machine to machine) is about how we can get devices intelligent, small and low cost enough so that they can actually talk to each other and act on their own. It’s a little bit like people, in a way, if we encourage people to talk to each other, work together and share things they are able to make decisions themselves and do not need to go to a supervisor to make things work.

So what we do with M2M is that we go from device to device, and from a cluster of devices, we go directly to the End Devices. But ultimately it will be merged and integrated with BAS and BMS somewhere in the overall architecture.

Where are BMS heading? Where will we be in 5 to 10 years?

The future looks good for BMS but it will change at a faster pace than it has done over the last 20 years. In fact, there has been little change in BMS over the last 20 years, except for buzz words and the introduction of BACnet. Next, will be far more integration with M2M and IT, and there will be an overall morphing of traditional BMS and new web based enterprises such as Google, IBMS, Nest, Intel, CISCO, combining Energy Management on a mass scale for both commercial and residential buildings. It won’t be just the Sky Scrapers getting BMS/BAS/M2M, it will every building, big and small.

In fact, for us to manage energy effectively, we need large scale deployment to match supply and demand, from the Power Station, to the home, to the office, to the retails stores, etc. It will cover everything, and it will be available at affordable prices thanks to lower cost M2M and embedded Linux DDC Controllers (probably called End Devices, eventually!).

EASYIO’s Annual Conference in Madrid, Spain! Sep 15-17, 2014, World Event Agenda Update

2014_EasyIO_PartnerEventGet ahead with EasyIO, see the latest Energy Saving Controls solutions, all leading edge and leading the way, as you would expect from EasyIO. At the same time, relax and enjoying yourselves with your friends from EasyIO. We will be joined by some great sponsors and media coverage by Controltrends from the USA - www.controltrends.org

We haven’t seen your submission to our event yet, but we would be delighted to meet you in Madrid. Review our updated agenda!

It is going to be an awesome event. I am sure you will love it. Register here!

saludos coriales,
Mike Marston

Target Estimates Data Breach at $148 Million. Read Target’s Updates on Security and Technology Enhancements

target_3 The 2013 Target data breach is a permanent and important reference point in hacking history. According to the Forbes and The Associated Press news releases last week, Target has estimated their hacking losses at $148 million, minus a $38 million insurance receivable (about 11 cents a share). Still being calculated are the damages to Target’s reputation, profits, and a host of lawsuits, not to mention the negative impact the breach has had on Target’s expansion into Canada. Yet, as one of the ten largest retail chains in the U.S., Target has the financial strength and resources to recover, and that — is where our focus belongs.

What measures did Target take, and continues to take, to shore up Target’s security banks — to eliminate the possibility of any future security breaches? Well, quite a few: Target names Brad Maiorino senior vice president, chief information security officer; Target appoints new chief information officer, Bob DeRodes; Target joins Financial Services Information Sharing & Analysis Center; and Target invests $5 million in cybersecurity coalition, not to mention the decommissioning of vendor access to the server impacted in the breach and disabling select vendor access points including FTP and telnet protocols. Although stained with spilt milk, the details contained in these measures are the road map and costs for others to learn from, budget for, and follow.

More information from Target website:

Since the initial confirmation of the data breach, Target has shared that there has been an active investigation. During that time, we’ve taken significant actions to further strengthen security across the network. Some of these enhancements include:

Enhancing monitoring and logging: We’ve implemented additional rules, alerts, centralized log feeds and enabled additional logging capabilities.

Installation of application whitelisting point-of-sale systems: This includes deployment to all registers, point-of-sale servers and development of whitelisting rules.

Implementation of enhanced segmentation: We’ve developed of point-of-sale management tools, reviewed and streamlined network firewall rules and developed a comprehensive firewall governance process.

Reviewing and limiting vendor access: We’ve decommissioned vendor access to the server impacted in the breach and disabled select vendor access points including FTP and telnet protocols.

Enhanced security of accounts: We coordinated a reset of 445,000 Target team member and contractor passwords, broadened the use of two-factor authentication, expanded password vaults, disabled multiple vendor accounts, reduced privileges for certain accounts, and developed additional training related to password rotation.

Visit Target.com/databreach to learn more about our information technology transformation.

KMC Controls is on the Move! Joins 2014 ControlTrends Awards as Platinum Sponsors

KMC_BoothControlTrends thanks KMC Controls for their 2014 ControlTrends Awards Platinum Sponsorship!

A little bit about KMC: Since 1969, KMC Controls has been helping facilities achieve higher levels of indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency by automating and controlling building systems. KMC innovations include pneumatic and electronic control devices for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications; a complete line of fully programmable digital hardware and intuitive software for local and remote web-based facility management.

KMC’s Mission: KMC Controls is committed to design energy saving and environmentally sustaining building automation products that are developed, manufactured, and supported by creative and dedicated people.

KMC’s Vision: To increase market share and sustain profitable growth, by offering our customers market-driven solutions through continuous improvement, implementation of new technologies, and environmental consciousness while fostering the development and well being of our employees.KMC Controls